It takes a village to raise a child is more than an African proverb. It’s true. Where would you be without mom to call in the middle of the night when the baby has a fever? The on call nurse? Your best friend who went through it with a colicky baby? You’d be overwhelmed and lonely. This is why village building is so important. Today, we are uncovering exactly how you should start building your village, some unexpected people in our village, and the people you shouldn’t include in your village.
While village building is important it’s not often clear exactly who are members of our village. Feeling lost? Not sure who to be asking for help? Here are a few ways to start building your village.
1. Aside from your husband, you’ll want to have at least 5 people you can call in the middle of the night.
In my opinion, this is absolutely essential for your mental wellbeing. You and your husband are in the muck together. There will be nights when you’re both overwhelmed and at your wits end. 3am with a baby who refuses to be laid flat on his back may be the perfect time to call your friend who had a child with constant ear infections, difficulty sleeping, or even gas. You may feel like you’ve tried everything only to find out that there was one little trick in their arsenal that was completely beyond your grasp.
These 5 people should vary, but they should all be okay with late night phone calls/texts/etc.
Who should go at the top of this list? Parents. Pediatricians. Best friends from childhood. You know exactly who fits into this category because you’ve probably been calling them at 3am with heartbreak for years. These are totally your ride or die, people.
2. Now add in people who provide services for your child.
Do you have a nanny? Babysitter? Daycare worker? Yoga instructor? These people are also a part of your village. They may not be in your top 5, but I can guarantee these people will help you notice problems, issues, or behaviors before you may have realized them on your own. They see your child from a completely different light.
3. Be a good member of someone else’s village.
Do you ever depend on someone for help? Babysitting? Advice? Think of it this way: a person’s village is sacred. If they let you into their village, they’re inviting you to see them at their most vulnerable, and you want to be a good friend/villager by really being there for them. People hate building their village only to find that it’s filled with people who are only there for them on their terms. Admit it, you do too. Bottom line? If you want to build a great village, you’ve got to put into someone else’s village.
4. Don’t forget your virtual village.
Sometimes you can’t get on the phone, but you can post in a group. This is a great way to broaden your village. You can join the Mom Squad and have access to me and so many more amazing women by clicking the image below.